Tag Archives: Matt Kemp

.388 – Good Batting Average, But Not Good Enough On Predictions

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Andrew McGilligan | Out of WriteField

If a player was coming into the 2013 Major League Baseball season with a .388 batting average, he would be a hot commodity. Give that same percentage to a person for their 2012 MLB predictions and it doesn’t seem as impressive.

However, with Opening Day less than a week away, we’re not shying away from our past here at Out of WriteField. We’re going to make predictions for 2013 later this week, but first we need to revisit 2012.

 

2012 Predictions and Actual 2012 Winners

 

American League Division and Wild Card teams

*actual winners in parentheses

Predictions:

AL East – NY Yankees (Yankees)

AL Central – Detroit Tigers (Tigers)

AL West – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Oakland Athletics)

Wildcard – Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox (Rangers, Baltimore Orioles)

Analysis: Predicted three of the five correctly, but so did most people. The big surprises of Oakland and Baltimore come out of nowhere. If you know someone who predicted both of those teams making the playoffs, you should heed their advice from now on.

National League Division and Wild Card Teams

*actual winners in parentheses

NL East – Philadelphia Phillies (Washington Nationals)

NL Central – Milwaukee Brewers (Cincinnati Reds)

NL West – San Francisco Giants (Giants)

NL Wildcards – Arizona Diamondbacks and Miami Marlins (Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals)

Analysis: Predicted one of five correctly, a brutal stat line. The Marlins imploded, the Phillies were awful and the Brewers never got it together.   

World Series

Detroit over San Francisco in six games (Giants over Tigers in four games)

Analysis: Got the teams’ right, but not the outcome. Really thought this would have been a much closer series, but the Tigers couldn’t get the bats going against the dominant pitching of the Giants. The guy with perhaps the best nickname in sports Pablo ‘Kung-Fu Panda’ Sandoval was named MVP.

Individual Winners

*actual winners in parentheses

Predictions:

American League

AL MVP – Miguel Cabrera (Cabrera)

AL Cy Young – David Price (Price)

AL Rookie of the Year – Matt Moore (Mike Trout)

Analysis: I was two for two and then Trout happened. The Angels rookie had a season for the ages and will be mentioned a lot when it comes to the 2013 predictions.

National League

NL MVP – Matt Kemp (Buster Posey)

NL Cy Young – Roy Halladay (R.A. Dickey)

NL Rookie of the Year – Yonder Alonso (Bryce Harper)

Analysis: Not one correct. Kemp got injured and Halladay just wasn’t himself. Looking back, I’m not sure why I was so bullish on the Phillies. No chance of me betting on Philadelphia this year.

So overall, it’s painfully obvious that I watch much more of the American League than the National given my correct guesses. We’ll see what happens this year when the 2013 predictions are posted later this week.

BONUS: Here’s a link to some other 2012 predictions to see what others thought would happen.

Yahoo: http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ys-brown_henson_passan_season_predictions_040412

CBSSports: http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/eye-on-baseball/18271059/2012-mlb-cbssportscom-expert-predictions

 

 

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Andre Ethier and Matt Joyce two big surprises in young season

Andre Ethier is benefiting from Matt Kemp's Superman start to the season - and if it continues, he could be one of the biggest surprises of the season come September.

McGILLIGAN: This season has been full of surprises. It’s May and the Baltimore Orioles are still playing well, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim look terrible and none of the early season favourites – the exception being the Texas Rangers – look like the teams everyone expected them to be.

I know it’s early, but here are two players having surprising seasons that aren’t getting a lot of talk for different reasons.

The first is outfielder Andre Ethier. While he’s a been a solid major leaguer for several years, he’s off to a great start in 2012. While his solid play is not shocking, the tiny amount of fanfare its received is.

With Matt Kemp playing like Clark Kent’s alter ego, Ethier has been in the shadows hitting in the slot behind Kemp. Ethier is benefiting from Kemp’s great start, but has also played an intricate role in it. His ability to drive in runs means pitchers simply can’t intentionally walk Kemp because Ethier will burn them. His average with runners in scoring position this season is .391. He’s also amassed the National League’s second most RBI with 24, just one behind Kemp.

Ethier is on pace to break his personal best season of 2009 when he lit up NL pitching with a .272 batting average, 31 home runs and 106 RBI.  If it weren’t for the all-world numbers of Kemp, it’s likely more people would be raving about Ethier’s play.

If the Dodgers keep on winning, is possible the Kemp-Ethier combination might become the most formidable in NL and MLB this season.

The second surprising start of the year is outfielder Matt Joyce of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Hitting .294 with five homeruns and 9 RBI, Joyce has been a revelation in Tampa. Having never got a chance for a full season of steady at bats, Joyce mashed the ball when he got his opportunity this season. However, the return of BJ Upton to the lineup and Joyce’s career struggles against left-handing pitching will see him ride the pine when the Rays face a southpaw.

Far be it for me to question Joe Maddon, the guy is one of the best managers in the game, but how does a guy ever get better at hitting left-handers if he doesn’t face them. Joyce’s career numbers are not good versus lefties (.198 in 162 at bats). But he’s only faced a lefty in 15 percent of MLB at bats.

The Rays have a potential break out star on their hands, maybe an everyday outfielder in the making, but he won’t get to that stage without letting him learn against MLB-calibre left-handers.

*All numbers current as of 8 a.m. EST

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